I'm Talking About "Them"

Over the years, as God has been shaping and refining me, I have noticed that my character defends me time and time again. I’ve seen the enemy silenced, narratives debunked, and foes scattered. God knows how to get things done, my friends, and what an honor it is to be used to getthingsdone for the kingdom! It’s worth it to just show up sometimes.

The Lord  will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

Deuteronomy 28:7 (NKJV)

I know society tells us not to dwell on the past. I’ve said it too, but today I’m talking about it. I’m talking about them. Those we know have had negative conversations about us behind our backs. Those frenemies who have fired shots with backhanded compliments and somehow caused public humiliation…without public notice. Those who have allowed their jealousy to rise up and morph them into bullies, making us their target. Those who have rallied troops against you…and me. Those who have masked their nosiness with concern, only to vomit all you’ve shared, with, guess who? more of them!

This is what I have to say to you about them.

Forgive them.

Call me naïve, but I wholeheartedly believe that there are so many who know not what they do when they do those evil things. We don’t know all that is in our deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9)! I think few people are hurting us intentionally, and many are living and loving the best way they can…even if that way is trash. Forgiveness doesn’t mean a rocked relationship will be restored to what it was. It may be better, it may be very different, it may or may not be both.

Forgiveness does not mean excusing.

– C.S. Lewis

Forgiveness can be super tough, but is always worth it. It keeps our most prized relationship (with God) intact and functioning healthily. The sin of unforgiveness is way too costly for us to allow it to gestate. It can manifest through bitterness, physical pain, strife, sickness, disease, etc., as it slowly… separates…us…from…God. Christ gave us a prescription for many things on the cross. Pardon them, He pardons you (Matt. 6:14).

Don’t bend for them.

I know the room is dark, but keep showing up and letting that light of yours shine. oh, and please don’t dim it when you get there. I know you feel alone, but God is on your side, fighting for you! Dwell on the good that God has done and keep a grateful heart. Don’t let them make you shrink back or give in. I know you don’t want them around, but God has prepared a pretty awesome table for you in their presence. The spread is for you, friend! 😉

You prepare a feast [table] for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

Psalm 23:5 (NLT)

Pray and release them.

The truth is, we’re not the only one He loves, ya know. God loves them like crazy, too. They too are image bearers of Christ, (though it may be a greatly distorted image in this season of their life). We may unknowingly be a “them” for someone else. If you can find it in your heart to forgive and genuinely pray for them, it’ll do humanity some good. If you can release that prayer to heaven and leave it there, it’ll do you some good. Sometimes we forget that we really can change the world with prayer. As my late aunt would say, “prayer is the most you can do.” When we release them in prayer, the matter is out of our hands and head, left in the best hands of all. We are free to be, trusting that it’s taken care of by a Righteous Judge.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

This song is an oldie but goodie that God used to bind up my wounds and reaffirm truth. I hope it encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:13 (NIV)

©2020 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Field Days

This past summer I had the honor of serving with Kaleo, a missions organization that partners with church plants (like Swerve Church) in select cities and states to help impoverished communities through various outreach efforts (i.e. assisting with school organization, food pantries, shelters, street evangelism, prayer walks, community clean-ups, etc.). In a nutshell, we spread love and share the gospel.

Kaleo hosts church youth groups (junior/high school) from all over the United States interested in serving, and they chose me (and a couple of others) to lead these groups that were arriving weekly to serve in Brooklyn (Bushwick). Such a great honor and experience. The harvest was and still is plentiful! May God bless the workers still there and send more according to His will!

Now I had originally planned on keeping my followers updated often throughout my time there, but I ended up only documenting a little on my Instagram stories (now highlights) and on a couple of posts. Between our long, sweaty days of serving and leading debriefs, it honestly wasn’t a high priority for me to talk to anybody but God (ha!)…’cause your girl was so tired! Just being honest.

I did, however, share a bit of my heartfelt perspective over on Kaleo Missions’ Blog that I wrote during my deployment. Though I was there for only a season, my investment was eternal.

In case you’re wondering what I’m doing now on this adventure with Jesus…welllll, my calling remains, folks! I will forever work with youth in some capacity, and I’ve recently adopted 22 little 4-year-olds. What can I say?! I am now crazy for Pre-K! 🤗🤪

IMG_20191112_140509.jpg

“If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”

©2019 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

I want to leave this world empty. #legacy

Let it be known
That I gave it all I’ve got
And that I kept on walking
Long after I got shot.

They tried to kill me
But He healed me
And now I can surely say
There’s no doubt in my mind
That God isn’t The Way.

He’s not a man that He should lie
So there’s no good excuse
Not to serve Him ’til we die
Not put our gifts to use.

I want to leave this world empty
On time and On “E”
I want to leave this world empty
And full of all of me.

He paid a pretty hefty cost
For our sinful, wretched mess
Then He rose; sent Help
And proceeded to call us blessed.

I thought I lost some here and there
But He said, “Nah, they quit the race.”
He said I chose to keep on running
And they chose to save face.

I want to leave this world empty
Having done all I loved to do
Love God, Love People
Love Me, Love You.

I want to leave flecks of gold
That shimmer within smiles
I want to leave hope, lots of hope
That lasts a great while.

I decided long ago that…
I wanted to leave this world empty
On time and on “E”
So that all would know, truly
That I was naturally me.

So when that day comes…
Let it be known
I didn’t leave early
Let it be known
I hate being late
Let it be known
I’ve waited long enough
For that Oh, so precious date.

© 2016 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

 

Darn, Mammon! #Money #God

I feel an urgency to write this before I go on any further with my life. That sounds dramatic, I know (lol), but it’s true. I just have to get it out and I have to let you or whoever else that needs to know, know.  It’s about mammon again.

I say again because the Holy Spirit has stirred me to write and discuss this topic before. I’ve been talking about this darn, mammon (money) for a while! The message has been shut up in my bones and maybe this post, just maybe, it will put it all to rest. My most recent post about it can be found here. God used that post as a confirmation to me that He speaks through my writing, and not only to others, but to me! At the moment I needed it most, my own post, God’s own post, encouraged me. Allow me to explain…

30 pcs of silverLast week, the Lord humbled me with the truth that I had been serving a spirit of mammon. Me? Really?  Yea, really. The truth was a hard pill to swallow. I had to crucify my pride before I could ask for it, and I had to truly desire to know it. Knowing it isn’t enough. I then had to accept it and choose who I was going to serve. I was heart-broken and I chose God, and was humbled again by the truth that He had already chosen me. I’m sharing this because I know there has to be someone else out there who was like me. There has to be someone else out there who needs to crucify their pride, ask God the hard questions and turn after learning the truth. That’s what real Christians do. Real Christians are about Christ, not about themselves.

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. – 1 John 3:9 (NIV)

After I asked God for forgiveness and then deliverance from that darn spirit of mammon, He did it! Yaaaaay! Let freedom ring! Granted, I still have a lot of mess and consequences I still need to deal with, but He’s with me and goes before me as I cross the Red Sea on dry ground. You can’t have me, Pharaoh! What blows my mind is His love for me. He stuck by my side through it all; married to the backslider. His grace and His favor never left me; not once while I wasn’t serving Him! What love is this?! It’s unconditional. It’s agape.

11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12 if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
– 2 Timothy 2:11-13 (NIV)

garden-of-eden

When you ask for forgiveness, you restore yourself back to the Father. You walk in the garden of Eden again like the good ‘ol days; naked and unashamed. You become one again. Know that God is not upset with you about the sins you aren’t aware of. He has always been and will always be for us, even while we are still sinners (See Romans 5:8). He’s already factored in all of our mistakes and all of Satan’s snares. He knows how heavy His cross is, and knows we have the free will to choose to carry it or not. He is pleased when we pick it up from wherever we are. He’s pleased by our attention to things that matter much to Him. Let’s face it: Satan is good at what he does, but God is greater, bigger, stronger, higher than any other. Our God is the Lord of ALL hosts!

My experience convinces me that there are many other Christians out there ignorantly serving a god and requiring salvation again. I share this with you not to incite nosy questions or concerns, but because I love you and I know that what God did for me He can do for you. If you’re serving God wholeheartedly, great! But I thought I was too. I dare you to ask Him. And if you find that it’s not Him that you’re serving, I dare you to turn and restore your relationship with Him. It may be man, it may be fear, or it could be that darn mammon! Eck!

 

Hate & Blessings: A Reminder to The Body of Christ #Beatitudes

As representatives of Christ, any and everyone should clearly recognize who we are and Who we represent by the fruit that we produce. As of late, I feel such a burden to encourage the body of Christ to increase their level of integrity.  So, I’m blasting my imaginary megaphone and shouting loud and clear…”COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE YE SEPARATE!” (See 2 Corinthians 6:17).

stay holyAre you telling a little white lie?
Not letting the cashier know he/she overcharged you?
Ordering water, but filling your cup up with soda?
California rollin’ through the stop sign?
Illegitimately parking in handicap for just a few minutes?
Leaving tags on purchased clothing, wearing them, and returning them?

CUT THAT OUT!

These are just a few examples of spirit-grieving acts that lack integrity. These may seem small, but as long as you’re dishonest in little, you will be dishonest with much (See Luke 16:10).  If you relate, I encourage you to repent and ask the Holy Spirit to help you cut this out.  Ask God to purge you and for His Spirit to fill you.  We already know that sin pays in death, so don’t take the job!  Our brother, Paul, has clearly felt our pain in this area.  He said…

14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are
spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t doit. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

help

21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
– Romans 7:14-24

You better believe that the world is watching, and more importantly, our Heavenly Father is watching.  As long as we’re bound, we’re incapacitated; unable to properly strengthen the body and help them get free from their sins that once enslaved us.

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. – Hebrews 10:26 (NLT)

Allow me to remind you of what the Lord hates…

Proverbs6-16-19

Now let me remind you of the true definition of blessed…

beatitudes

There’s a huge misconception in the world, and even in the body of Christ of what it means to be BLESSED.  Do not be deceived! Following Christ is not your ticket to wealth, prosperity and instant gratification.  If that’s what you’re after, you ought to follow Satan (or maybe you are unknowingly).  He’ll give it to you now, as a down payment for hell later. Following Christ is your ticket to Heaven. We endure now, and prosper in eternity later.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Lord does give material gifts, but from my personal experience, they start flowing once they don’t matter (ha!).  The world oohs, ahhs and huffs and puffs in jealousy when they see your gifts, while all along in your heart, you’re like “pssh…this?”.  God loves giving to these kind; they’re not discontent and adulterous lusting for more.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.
– Philippians 3:18 (NLT)

God, Man, and Woman #Feminist #Leadership #Power #Authority #GenderRoles

I recently finished up one of Ron Carpenter’s teaching series titled, “What Makes A Man”, and found it to What Makes A Manbe wonderfully insightful.  Initially the title brought some doubt about whether or not it was for me (a woman), but after hearing his introduction, I was convinced that he would share something that my heart was ready to receive.  By learning “what makes a man”, it became clear to me, that which does not make a woman, and therefore, what a woman should not seek to make herself into.  God has already done a great job.  You, woman, are beautifully made and there is no flaw in you!  (Song of Songs 4:7)  My heart was stirred, and any competition within it was getting squashed in my prayer closet!  Yaaaay!  This night…I was hearing, I was receiving, and I was getting. my. life!  God is truly for us.

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
~ Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV) ~

My attention was drawn to the somewhat controversial topic of a woman’s role.  I want to flashback to Genesis and recall a story about us and for us.  My goal is to stir your heart and make you think about God’s word in relativity to the way we live (mind, body and spirit).  I’ve included many scripture references for you to do your own study (and I hope you do!).  I encourage you to test the spirit delivering this message (1 John 4:1)!  And If the truth stings, let it sting!  It is a small cost for liberty.

Men vs Women

Briefly about Adam…
Back in Eden, good ol’ Adam was placed there before Eve.  With his God-given glory and dominion, he reigned slightly lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7).  Adam was a man with great responsibilities, and therefore many requirements (Luke 12:48).  He named animals and tended an entire “garden” stretching across the Middle East!  It pleased God to watch Adam do his thang.  He came from God, “looked” like God, and walked with God; like Father, like son.  Gon’ Adam with yo bad self!

Briefly about Eve…
Without coincidence (on purpose, for a purpose), Behold! God had created the lovely Eve from Adam, for the purpose of help and companionship.  The woman’s role then and now is to simply help the man with what he needs.  Side note: This is why it is extremely important for a woman to choose a man who is Christ-centered and truly walking with God.  A wise woman once told me that the real ones are not trying to convince you, they are doing it.

“And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.”
~ 1 Timothy 2:14 (NLT) ~

Eve’s deception led her to believe that she was missing something.  She sought after this forbidden knowledge and power that seemed harmless and good for her.  She sinned, she tainted her legacy, and she placed her family in a position of struggle for life.  We are descendants of her, and God has a word…

“To the woman he said, ‘…Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'” ~ Genesis 3:16 ~

God spoke, and the fight of woman for the position of man began.  Now singles, you may think the above scripture is only true for married women, but not so!  You, my single sister, are married to the best of the best, God himself! Your devotion and submission is to the Lord, holy in both body and in spirit! (1 Corinthians 7:34).

We Can Do ItI believe many feminist, “shero”, and anti-male movements are examples of Genesis 3:16; women attempting to change an order that was divinely set in place.  Now I’m not knocking women’s rights; I am for me, and I know that my greatest and highest thoughts of myself cannot compare to God’s thoughts of me (Psalm 139:17).  The concept that God exceeds us in every way must be grasped (Isaiah 55:8-9).  It is extremely important for us to seek God to learn what is right before we cause a mess.  Why cause a mess when you can enjoy rest in His will?  Instead of fighting God and man, we as women need to arise and kill our flesh that attempts to control man and obtain something that does not belong to us.  That my friends, is liberation!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
~ Psalm 51:10 (KJV) ~

If us ladies are honest with ourselves and receptive to the word of God,  then we agree that there are a whole lot of us Evelets running around at fault; both single and married.  It is time to realign.  Awake!  Stop listening to the outside world and getting bound and entangled (See Galatians 5:1).  You can do this!

“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”
~ Psalm 17:8 (KJV) ~

The truth of the matter is, whether or not the bible says  go”this way”, we all have the free will to go “that way”, and when we This Way That Waydo, although we become separated by sin, we will never ever ever be separated by the love of our Heavenly Father (See Romans 8:31-39).  I’m not okay with that, though.  I am in no way okay with a one-sided relationship on account of me.  Relationships that only take and do not give are not rooted in love.  Love keeps the commands of The Most High God, and God has spoken (John 14:15).  Protest THAT!

Eve lost horribly and I refuse to lose like that. I may lose, but it will be God’s way, with a humble heart of surrender.  It is time for us as women to position ourselves for the restoration of our proper place of worship in God’s kingdom as He purposed it.  God uses those who are willing to be used.  I believe God’s will looks different for all of us, especially since fewer men are unwillingly rising to their positions, but seeking and discerning His will is key.  We may survive outside of God’s will, but only inside can we thrive. 

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
~ Acts 4:12 (ESV) ~

I Surrender All

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
~ Luke 9:24 (NLT) ~

My greatest #commission.

“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'” – Mark 16:15 (ESV)

Great-Seal-of-California-GoldI recently became a notary public for the State of California (Woot! Woot!).  In a nut shell, what we do is legally serve the public (without offering legal advice), but mostly by signing and stamping documents with an official seal that pretty much makes them legit with the state to be used in court, or life, or whatever.  That’s the “Nu” version.

Ever since I found out that a “commission” is what I was to receive from the Secretary of State before I could perform notarial duties, I was intrigued by the word.  I looked it up and laughed.  It was like an inside joke between God and I.

I liked these below:

com·mis·sion

kəˈmiSHən/

noun

  1.  an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people.
  2. a group of people officially charged with a particular function.

verb

  1. give an order for or authorize the production of (something such as a building, piece of equipment, or work of art).
  2. bring (something newly produced, such as a factory or machine) into working condition.

goodnewsI realized that this commission to serve the public in the natural was yes, something ordained by the State of California, but my greatest commission and high calling to go out and proclaim the gospel and spread the love of Christ in this hurting and dying world is far more valuable. I am grateful for the God-given revelation in this parallel and for the opportunity to serve Him in serving you, His people.  That, my friends is our greatest commission and we can expect a great reward in Heaven.  I don’t take my birth lightly, nor more duty following.  I heard Dr. Tim Storey say once that, “You’re a big deal” and I agree.  God does so much, and allows us as individual believers to go through so much…for just one sometimes.  What an honor to serve you, to teach you…what an honor to love you and prepare you (and me) for the Kingdom!

16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.